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* Agitation demanding ban on cattle slaughter blocks roads in Sri Lankan capital
Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 08:41 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 18, Colombo: Sinhala Buddhist extremist organization Sinhala Ravaya held a violent protest today blocking a busy road in the heart of the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo to urge the authorities to ban cattle slaughter in the island.

The protestors sitting in front of the Colombo Fort Railway Station occupied the Olcott Street this evening creating a massive traffic block.

The Buddhist monks demanded President Mahinda Rajapaksa to grant a written promise that the laws will be brought to ban cattle slaughter.

However, when the police handed over a letter from the President's Office with the signature of an Additional Secretary, the leader of the organization, Akmeemana Dayarathna Thera, has rejected the letter.

The group launched a sit-in-protest in front of the Fort Railway Station after leading a march from the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy on the 9th and reaching Colombo on Sunday (16).

The convener of the agitation, Ven. Magalkande Sudantha Thero said that he would like to sacrifice his life for cattle in case such promise is not granted.

Police meanwhile arrested a Sinhala Ravaya monk who was carrying a can of petrol in an attempt to self-immolate outside the railway station.

The group, threatening to take "drastic action with potentially catastrophic consequences", has said that they would not be deterred by any obstacles before them and they would not negotiate by any means.

Demanding a ban on cattle slaughter, a Buddhist monk of the group self-immolated in Kandy last year.

The police had deployed riot squads and placed tear gas trucks at strategic points around the downtown area to prevent any violent acts by the group.

Meanwhile, three monks of the group have started a fast unto death.

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